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Trojans nearly spoil Benton Homecoming

October 6, 2017
By Allison Graham - Sports Editor , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By Allison Graham

Sports Editor


Article Photos

Tanner Probasco ducks under Benton defender Riley Nolan as he rushes up the field.

New Herald Photos/Allison Graham

The South Tama Trojans came close to what some may have called an upset last Friday evening. STC travelled to Van Horne where they faced district opponent, the Benton Bobcats (3-3). Despite leading much of the night, the Trojans fell short in the final minute of action. Benton recorded the 31-29 win on their Homecoming night.

STC began the night on offense. On the third play of their possession quarterback Lane Koch stepped back for a pass. Koch's intent was to connect with Tanner Probasco, instead the ball was intercepted. Koch's pass may have been a bit short or maybe Probasco was a step off but it wasn't a great way to start the night.

The Trojan defense came on the field and managed to force the Bobcats into a three and out for their first series of the night. STC and Benton would each have another possession before any solid offensive attempts would come to fruition.

South Tama's defense was able to force Benton to punt for a second time. Probasco was deep to receive the punt. Once he did he was off to the races scoring the Trojans' first points of the evening. Probasco plays with an unmatched fierceness, almost as if he was trying to make up for the interception earlier in the evening. Colton Vest kicked the PAT and just like that the Trojans were up 7-0.

Benton quarterback Spencer Touro attempted a pass on the second play of the Bobcats next drive. The attempt was intercepted by STC's Brady Fritz. Unfortunately, the Trojans were unable to take advantage of the turnover.

Keith Keahna scored his second touchdown of the season in the second quarter as he and Koch connected for a short pass into the end zone.

Benton responded with a long drive up the field scoring off a quarterback keeper. This put the Bobcats on the board, trailing the Trojans by a touchdown. The Trojans responded back. Koch connected with Nick Ryan for a beautiful pass completion. South Tama led 21-7 going into halftime.

Coming out of the halftime locker room, Benton began to slowly chip away at STC's lead. The Bobcats managed to hold onto the ball for much of the third quarter. The Trojans had two short and unproductive offensive attempts. Benton narrowed the Trojan lead on their third series of the quarter.

The Bobcats eventually tied the score at 21 towards the top of the fourth quarter. With STC coughing up a quick three and out, the Bobcats really began to exhaust the Trojan defense. Benton took the lead 28-21 with just two minutes remaining.

But the Trojan offense had a bit of life left. Koch again connected with Ryan for a 64-yard touchdown. With the score tied at 27, STC head coach Nate Doran made a quick decision to go for two. Doran has not been afraid to take a risk. Last season he called for a two-point conversion during the Trojans overtime game at Charles City. That one didn't go STC's way. But this year his risk gave him and the rest of the team the rewards. Koch found Probasco cutting towards the sideline close to the goal line. Probasco reached up with one hand and caught the pass as he fell to the ground. The touchdown catch was undoubtedly a highlight reel moment for the Trojans this season. The Trojans took the lead back 29-27.

With just under two minutes to go Benton began to methodically move back up the field. Touro found every hole he could in the Trojan defense as the clock wound down. Ultimately, the Trojan defensive line had worn out. The Bobcats scored with 13 seconds remaining and won the game 31-29.

For a team that has struggled with injuries and also morale, the Trojans have nothing to hang their heads about. Friday's contest was a valiant effort. They played with a freedom and looseness Trojan fans have yet to see this season.

STC Stats

Passing: Lane Koch 9-19 for 177 yards, Keith Keahna 1-1 for 27 yards

Rushing: Tanner Probasco 6-108, Colton Vest 5-18, Tanner Walz 8-9

Receiving: Nick Ryan 2-88, Colton Vest 4-62, Brady Fritz 1-8, Keith Keahna 1-6

Scoring: Nick Ryan 12, Tanner Probasco 8, Keith Keahna 6, Colton Vest 3

Tackles: Brady Fritz 15, Tanner Probasco 12, Dalton Rosenburg 9, Nick Ryan 9, Garrett Arp 7, Lane Koch 7, Josh Thiessen 7, Colton Vest 7, Anthony Wilson-Healey 5, Keith Keahna 5, Brendan Patro 4, Tanner Walz 4, Drake Crawford 3, Aiden Waseskuk 1

Interceptions: Brady Fritz 1, Garrett Arp 1

PAT Kicking: Colton Vest 3-3

Kick Offs: Joel Medina 5-225

Punting: Nick Ryan 5-230

Kick Off Returns: Colton Vest 3-59, Tanner Probasco 2-29



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